As Jesus prepared the disciples for his impending death and the consequences of that for the little community they had formed, he left them with an image that reminded them (and reminds us) that joy is born, more often than not, out of pain. In a broken world, suffering is inevitable. In a world where God's redemption is a reality, suffering is never the last word. As people of faith, we are called in these dramatic times of change, to hold the hope of what is being born in our midst. To pray for it, to proclaim it and to live it.
Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. (from John 16)
The world is changing, Great God of Love, and we ask that you, our Midwife, would teach us how to breath through these profound labour pangs. Help us to bear with the pain. To bravely, acknowledging our fear and weakness, choose this path. Let this not be a blip in the historical record. Let this be a tsunami of love that forever alters our landscape.
Forgive us our ignorance, intentional and unintentional.
Forgive us our passivity, known and unknown.
Forgive us our judgement, seen and unseen.
Fill, with the power and passion of your Spirit, those who speak well and with love for justice and healing.
Teach those of us who have spoken for far too long to dwell in a deep listening silence.
May this world be the place you dreamed of in the very beginning. May we be the children of your heart, compelled and overwhelmed by love.